Tag Archives: Musing

Here again, there again.

These goodbye-days are the worst.

Maybe that sounds overly dramatic, but really I dread these days. I dread these days going both directions — going to school and going home — because I hate change. Hate saying goodbye. And these days that fling me up and away from Seattle are the rock-bottom worst.

This is me: sitting at my airport gate, sipping an iced tall caramel macchiato through a straw with quivering lips, trying really hard not to think about anything. Cause everything somehow leads back home.

See, I’m too torn. I love school. I’m obsessed with it; it is a silly, busy, sunny second home. As soon as I get there I’ll be so glad — glad to see the beach and my best friend and my dorm-home and the cafeteria and my mailbox, which may or may not be full of package slips for textbooks that I will somehow be glad to see, too, knowing I’ll be stuffing my brain full of them in the coming months.


I do love home, too, and this is the part that makes my lips quiver as I drink more coffee. I love my mom and my dad and how our relationship has become friendship. I love my sister; no one makes me laugh like she does. And my crazy dog and my living room and cooking in the kitchen and playing games and walking in wintry gray Seattle weather and drinking coffee from coffee shops that are so indie and so cool and so nonexistent in California.

But I have to go: here again, there again, called north or south by this academic migration pattern called college-student-life.


Somehow I feel better now, coffee gone and lips calmer, after writing all this out. Writing calms me. And really — I’m ready for second semester. I just have to get through this day first.



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I hesitated a lot about posting this. I like to be upbeat on this blog, and if I were you, reading this, I would tell myself to get a grip and stop groaning. But writers are not always upbeat. Quite opposite… while half-impassioned with a deeper desire (need?) to tell stories, I tend to mope and groan about the impossibility of slapping words onto paper.

So I will be authentic with you. Here’s me right now.


Maybe it’s Seattle — the clouds and rain and empty week.

Or maybe it’s the “THE END” stamped on a whole year and a half of purpose.

Whatever it is, I’m feeling forlorn. Like an empty-nester. My baby is with my agent, all grown up and ready to face whatever’s ahead. And I am alone —

Not really alone. Barely conceived plots and characters are growing inside my mind. They frighten me: I don’t know them yet. They have no beginnings or endings, no faces or smiles. Just whispers where life might come…

Anyway, I don’t know what to do with myself. Two weeks ago I had purpose: finish the book and make it perfect. And I loved that purpose, loved being with Sophie and Esmund and Luke and Noah again… They are silly and safe and familiar. I know them so well. I’ve known them for a year and a half. We get along.

These other people, weird new people with half-imagined stories and personalities, strange names like Birch and Harley (or is his name Ian?) — they are monsters creeping around the corners of my mind. They are danger — because I don’t know where they’ll take me. I don’t know them well enough to see where they want to go.

The sequel is safer, and it demands to be written. But I guess it’s not really safer. While Sophie thinks there’s more to be said, I don’t know quite what that is. I try to see but it’s like skiing through fog: is the fog the snow, or the snow fog? Which way is up? Where am I going? Cliffs ahead?

I suppose I am just being an angsty, half-grown-up college student who loves being home with family after so many months of being away — but then after a while feels very ready to go back to other sisters and brothers at school. This was my place in high school (my identity, who I was), but now I am shifting into someone else who has a different bed, different friends, different schedule.

Or I am suffering a holiday let-down.

Whatever I’m being or feeling, I don’t know what to do with myself…


Tomorrow: the first AW Exposed interview!


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So Thanksgiving is over (and I probably won’t be hungry until Christmas) but this thing called “thanksgiving”, no caps, is a year-around event. Kristin Briana Otts tagged me: rules: list ten things you are thankful for, five of which must be writing-related.

1. Home: I’m sitting on my kitchen floor right now (favorite room in the house: sunny and Italian and warm) — ignoring all the dirty dishes in the sink from family homemade pizza night, listening to my dad and uncle talk technology, watching a pie crust brown in the oven, groovin’ to Dave Brubeck — after a random day of shopping with the family (my dad never shops, not ever; but basically bought out Eddie Bauer today; it was great). I love being here. We laugh a lot and talk about random things and cook — and it fills me up inside.

2. Family: Okay, I know this is kind of like #1, but I am very thankful for my family. They’re really cool (I’m going to brag for a second): my dad is building a boat, my mom is on the board of a nonprofit org called Sister Connection (which helps widows in Burundi, Africa), my sister is next-year’s cross country team captain, and my dog is the smartest dog in the world. We’re a very funny family, too.

3. College: I liked freshman year. It was fun and weird. But sophomore year is light-years better. I am in love with it. In love with my friends, my dorm, (most of) my classes, loooong funny dinners in the cafeteria, v-ball at the beach, spontaneous trips for frozen yogurt…

4. Friends: There’s this old song — “make new friends but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold” — that we sang in preschool. And it’s in my head a lot because I have a lot of new friends and a lot of old, and I’m grateful for them all. Old friends have seen me grow from awkward junior-higher to less awkward high-school senior. We’ve gone through tons together and I’m grateful that we can still hang out over breaks. New friends have stuck with me through rocky, homesick lows and sunny, hilarious highs — and this year especially we’ve become very tight.

5. Seattle: Big city in the rain. Soggy leaves in the street. Pink and purple clouds at sunset when the sky clears for half a second to show off the Sound and the skyline in evening sunshine.

6. My first book: It was crap (no, literally, it was) — but it’s what sparked this whole crazy obsession. I’m thankful that I began something without a plan and without any idea of what it would turn into — because it’s led me here.

7. The Inbetween: This book won’t let me get away (believe me, I have tried) because something about it wants to be heard. I mean, really really wants to be heard. And I’m thankful for this year-and-a-half journey of learning about Sophie and Esmund, about plot structure and style, about persevering…

8. My agent: This is a big one. I remember one of my friends asked me, back in September, what I was looking forward to this year. First thing I said was the big a-g-e-n-t, and although I had no idea if it would really happen, I wanted it bad. And it happened! I’m thankful that Joan saw my query, thankful that she fell hard for my book, thankful that she sees ways to make it better, thankful that all those ways fit with and enhance my vision, and thankful that one of the first things she mentioned was the sequel…

9. Support: Family and friends who are 100% supportive of this adventure — who cheer me on and push me to new levels. I’m truly grateful.

10. Absolute Write: I learned everything from that place… a.k.a. I would have no query letter or agent or plain hope without all that advice, critique, and help.

Tagged: Anna, Jenn, Kristina


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I’m going to take the rest of this week off to soak up family and home and rain and time to process everything that’s happened this semester

I’m thankful for all of it — although it’s been pretty hard at times. Lots of new things have been thrown in my face over the last couple months… and I’m tired. But thankful for the moments that stick out: out-of-control laughter with my roomie, impromptu games of pool and balderdash and cards, lazy days at the beach, deep conversations at coffee shops, that first phone call from my agent, late-night volleyball games, sunsets in dirty parking lots, first dates… and the promise of Thanksgiving break.

What would we do without Thanksgiving break?

Be thankful this week. And eat lots of turkey.


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Sometimes when I go on walks down at the beach, words are inadequate. We try to capture things — images and characters and moments — with squiggles —

When sometimes there’s so much beauty that there are no words.

Is that okay?

On Friday, when we walked the beach after playing volleyball in the sand for most of the afternoon, I turned off all my words and just looked. Just soaked everything up and let the urge to capture the moment slip through my fingertips.

Are we silly to try to box up everything with words? I think some moments just need to be.



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